We have significant challenges in Vancouver and to solve them we need a government people trust.
As an MP for the past seven years, I know firsthand how crucial strong conflict of interest and clear fundraising rules are. They help keep elected officials accountable to voters and help voters maintain trust in our institutions.
Increasing the confidence people have in our government starts before elections. We need to put an end to anonymous advertising and American-style smear campaigns. Independent candidates, political parties and third-party advertisers all need to disclose where their donations are coming from and what they are spending money on.
Our elections also need to be fair and democratic. For too long we have operated under an at-large system that lacks community representation and disenfranchises racialized people. I promise that this past municipal election will be the last under the at-large system.
Finally, once elections are over, voters need to have confidence that city staff and politicians aren’t seen to be in any perceived conflicts of interest. That means staff that leave city hall one day, don’t start work with major developers the next, or politicians are no longer having undisclosed meetings.
Local government impacts us every day. It’s about the people and places we care about – and voters deserve a government that works for everyone.